The Wolverine

May 2014 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 139 of 153

  WHERE ARE THEY NOW? BY MICHAEL SPATH J eff Kunkel found himself at a crossroads. In six seasons in the minor leagues, he had hit just .224. While he still believed he could rise through the ranks to earn a spot with a Major League Baseball team someday, Kunkel also realized a tremendous opportunity when it was presented to him — a chance to work for the Detroit Tigers in beginning his pursuit to enter the managerial field. Best of all, Kunkel would spend the next few seasons doing what he loved — catching. In 2012, Kunkel accepted a job to become Detroit's bullpen catcher, a role he currently occupies and one that has grown considerably. "To see things at the major league level on a daily basis from how the game is coached and played, and then everything that goes on behind the scenes … experiencing all of this for two seasons with a coach like Jim Ley- land and his staff, and with this year's   WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Former Baseball Standout Jeff Kunkel Has Caught On With The Detroit Tigers Kunkel batted .335 with 28 RBI and nurtured a young pitching staff as a senior in 2006, help- ing lead the Wolverines to their first Big Ten championship in a decade. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS

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